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What’s Changed for Education Over the Past Ten Years?

COVID-19 might have brought about the most dramatic changes that the world has seen in the past decade in many industries, but the truth is that things were already changing quite rapidly. In the past ten years, there have been huge updates and developments in almost every industry in the world, including teaching and education. For example, social media has boomed which has had an impact on how students stay connected to one another, and cloud computing has made it easier than ever before for students and teachers alike to study and work remotely, providing more accessible education to people who might have otherwise struggled to access it. 

In the modern world of education, students have more options than ever before when it comes to learning at a pace and with a learning style that they are most comfortable with. Teachers and other educators have access to a much larger range of automation tools and software packages that make their jobs easier to do and allow them to spend more time working with student directly rather than spending time on mundane admin tasks like marking, which can now be done electronically. 

The way in which we access and consume educational materials has also drastically changed. Over the past ten years, there has been a significant increase in the number of students who are enrolling on online degree programs, with many preferring the idea of studying at home and taking advantage of more flexibility compared to committing to classes based on-campus. The fact that online degree programs and other learning programs are now much more widely available and accepted has made it possible for those who’d otherwise struggle to go to college, including students who need to work full-time and students with family commitments, to reach their academic and career goals. 

Here are some of the main ways that the field of education has changed over the past decade. 

The Growing Role of the Media and Digital Devices:

Compared to ten years ago, today’s media is designed to be duplicated and shared, which matters a lot in terms of education. The digital devices that we have access to today have dramatically changed the way that we are learning at every age and throughout every stage of the education process. These devices are personal, interactive, and provide immediate and direct access to almost anything that we want to learn. In addition to this, digital devices have become such an important part of our lives and the need for knowledgeable and skilled people to work on creating and managing them has led to more IT subjects and programs now available from a wide range of educational institutions. 

Increase in Mobile Learning:

Mobile learning is the new standard when it comes to education. Compared to in the past, students are no longer expected to be sitting at their desks all the time and more are taking advantage of the ability to easily learn on the go. When in schools and colleges, mobile learning has made it possible for students to be able to get up from their desks and walk around to enable further learning, rather than only having the chance to do this on a field trip. And for teachers and other educational professionals, the increase in the ability to learn in this way has made it possible for them to connect with a more diverse range of students. Students around the world can now improve their education by connecting with experts remotely and using cloud software to collaborate with other schools on projects. Throughout the past eighteen months, we have seen the positive impact of mobile learning on students and just how important it has become for continuing education. When COVID-19 made it impossible for students to go to school as normal, many were able to continue their education seamlessly by taking advantage of these cloud-based learning opportunities. 

Digital Games in the Classrooms:

Today’s learning is often more interactive and fun compared to how it was just a decade ago. Digital games are just one example of the way in which students learn is changing to be more immersive and interesting. While digital educational games might have been in their infancy ten years ago, and had been tried out in some classrooms, today they are fairly commonplace with lots of teachers and educational professionals relying on them to provide an interesting, interactive and engaging learning environment that gets students more excited compared to sitting at a desk with a book open. Digital games are proving to be an ideal tool for learning, with many students better able to take the information in when it is presented in this manner. They cover a wide range of subjects including coding, math, spelling, languages, music and more. 

Online Learning is the Mainstream:

Ten years ago, it would have been difficult to find somebody who was studying for a degree online. While there were certainly people who did take online classes back then, getting an online qualification was harder due to the lack of cloud-based applications compared to what we have today. In addition, there was only a handful of subjects available to study from a select few colleges and many people were wary of studying online and feared that their qualification might be viewed as being worth less compared to studying at an established campus. However, ten years later and things have changed a lot. Online learning has evolved massively over the years and has become more mainstream than ever before, with institutions like Marymount University offering a wide range of respected degree programs to choose from with subjects at every level from bachelor’s to doctorate. Over 70% of companies used online learning during 2017 and since the turn of the century, the online learning industry has grown by a massive 900% – and is likely to have boomed even more since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

More Learning Outside of School Due to Tech:

Technology has made it easier for students – especially kids – to learn more outside of the school settings. The tech that we have access to today has made it possible for people of any age to learn at home through a variety of different means, and not always in a traditional classroom setting. The internet, for example, has provided us with an unlimited amount of information and knowledge that we can access right at our fingertips and Google has become the first port of call for anybody who wants to learn something new. For younger students, playing on educational games and apps at home has helped to facilitate learning, even when it doesn’t feel like they’re studying at all. More and more kids have tech products like gaming consoles and iPads, which can actually be more helpful when it comes to learning today, especially since proficiency with these devices is a key skill that an increasing number of employers are looking for. Access to devices has never been easier, with iPad rental services and the opportunity to borrow games and resources or work online in a local library. There are no boundaries to kids’ learning, and even something like recreational games provides many benefits in terms of manual dexterity, promoting neurological growth in the frontal and pre-frontal lobe regions, and game developers are now actively looking to improve the learning or cognitive benefits with the games they provide. Many kids’ games today are designed to be educational as well as fun, with games that are teaching children aspects of coding, design, math, and much more. 

Why Get into Education in 2021?

The education industry has undoubtedly changed a lot over the years and is still changing in many ways, with educational professionals excited about what the future might hold and where we are likely to be in the next ten years’ time in terms of how we can improve education. If you are interested in working in a dynamic, interesting career where there is always something new to learn along with the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of others, there are plenty of reasons to consider a career in education. 

  • Improve Your Own Education:

One of the best reasons to consider a career in this field is that not only is it an opportunity to educate others, but it also gives you the chance to improve your own education. To become a teacher or other professional educator, you will usually need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in the subject that you want to teach along with a postgraduate teaching or education certificate or a master’s degree in education. Thanks to online learning, it has become easier than ever for teachers and other professionals working in the field of education to improve their resumes with a range of advanced degree programs like a doctorate of education, or training programs for school counseling, coaching and other related career paths now available to study in a more flexible and self-led way, making it easier for teachers to continue working as they improve their education and providing more opportunities for career changers. 

  • Have a Huge Impact:

Studies have found that aside from parents, teachers are the one adult present in a child’s life that will have the biggest impact on them as they grow up and reach adulthood themselves. If you want to work in education as a school teacher working directly with children and young people, this is one job where you have a unique opportunity to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the next generation. As a teacher, you will not only be helping to shape the knowledge and expertise of the next generation in your chosen subject, but you will also be able to help them with healthy habits, communication and social skills, conflict resolution, career planning and much more. As a teacher, it’s your job to look out for the kids that you teach and your observant and caring nature could be used to help kids in bad home situations or kids who are struggling at school to turn things around for them. 

  • Various Career Options Available:

Working in education is not always about teaching. If you want to take a different route, there are now more options than ever before available when it comes to choosing the right education role for you. School counseling, for example, is a popular career choice where you will be responsible for providing guidance and advice to students as they make the right decisions for them. School counselors provide career advice, help students make sense of exam results and more, and work with them to help them take the right path in life whether that’s getting into college, learning a trade or something else. Or, you might want to consider a career as an educational psychologist if you are interested in working to improve the landscape of education and playing a pivotal part in how it’s set to change again in the next decade.

  • High Demand:

As long as there are people in the world who need or want to learn new things, teachers and other educational professionals are always going to be in high demand. Once you are qualified as a teacher, you can be sure to find work almost everywhere that you go, making it a very flexible career path where you can move around without being worried about being out of work at any point. Whether you want to go back to the school you attended as a child and teach there or are interested in relocating to another state, teachers and educational professionals enjoy very high demand almost everywhere, and you can be assured that your skills and knowledge are needed and sought-after no matter where you go. 

  • Promotion Opportunities:

Working in the educational field can be an opportunity that brings lots of promotions and advancements for you to work towards. With various degree programs now available, you can work your way up to being the head of a department or even the head of a school, or work your way up in a similar way in colleges, universities and other educational settings. There’s a lot on offer for teachers and other education professionals who are willing to work hard and follow their dreams in this career. 

If you’re excited to see how education has changed over the past decade and want to play a part in improving it even further over the next ten years, there are lots of great reasons to consider getting into a teaching or other professional education role.

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